The Overwatch League wrapped Week 4 of its second season, and some teams have had a reversion of fortune. Paris continued their downfall, while Toronto is looking to build noise around their team’s success. With only two days of matches for the coming week, all the focus is on stage playoffs. With map differential separating five different 3-3 teams from a playoff spot, these last matches are make or break. This is how The Game Haus Overwatch League Staff ranked the teams heading into Week 5.
(MPD= Map Differential, High is the highest an individual ranked the team, Low is the lowest an individual ranked them, and LW= Last Week’s Power Ranking Position)
1. New York Excelsior – Record 7-0 MPD: +16 (High: 1. Low: 3. LW: 1st)
The NYXL finally pulled together an undefeated Stage after Week 4, continuing to dominate opponents. They’re looking to be in top form for the Stage 1 playoffs, as they take this week to study their enemies, most likely focusing in on the Vancouver Titans. In a meta that many expected NYXL to show weakness, they’ve hidden or overcome them well. It would be no surprise seeing NYXL challenge for another title.
– Dalton Jewell
2. Vancouver Titans – Record: 6-0 MPD: +14 (High: 1. Low: 3. LW: 2nd)
Three maps into their series with the Chengdu Hunters, and everything was going wrong for the Vancouver Titans. The Hunters were confounding the Titans with their patented DPS heavy style and 3-3 compositions – Vancouver’s bread and butter – stopped being a true weakness thanks to Menghan “Ameng” Ding’s massive improvements on Reinhardt. The Titans rallied on the final two maps, looking more like themselves as they kept their undefeated Stage 1 alive and secured the top spot in the Pacific Division. Next week brings a rematch against the Guangzhou Charge, the other team that pushed the Titans to the limits. A decisive win could give the league’s top spot to Vancouver and quiet some of the concerns brought up by their close call.
– Bradley Long
3. San Francisco Shock – Record: 4-3 MPD: +5 (High: 3. Low: 8. LW: 4th)
This past week was a mixed bag for the Shock, as they got crushed by the NYXL before comfortably beating the Eternal. The win against the Eternal allowed the Shock to end their stage on a high note, and a 4-3 coming off of a brutal schedule is nothing to sneeze at. This was a constructive stage for the Shock, and they should continue to build on it as they go deeper into the season.
– Sam Putney
4. Philadelphia Fusion – Record: 4-2 MPD: +3 (High: 2. Low: 8. LW: 6th)
After their 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Valiant, it is looking like the Fusion will have a spot in the playoffs. Their last game of the stage will be against the Paris Eternal. Even though the Paris Eternal have been under-performing, this match will still be interesting. It will be the first time George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha will face off against his former team. While the Eternal have been having a rough time, after the Fusion’s loss to the Florida Mayhem, it is not in anyone’s best interest to write the Eternal off. So long as the Fusion continue to focus on their communication and coordination, they should be able to secure that playoffs spot.
– Kate Shepard
5. Atlanta Reign- Record: 3-2 MPD: +5 (High: 3. Low: 8. LW: 3rd)
Despite a tough loss to the Gladiators, the Atlanta Reign are still looking like one of the better overall teams in the league. With two games left in the final week to finish out Stage 1, the Reign will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing week 4 and take down the Hunters and Outlaws. If Atlanta can maintain the focus shown in earlier games, expect to see them entering the playoffs with a respectable 5-2 record.
– Garrett “Norcetto” Golden
6. Toronto Defiant – Record: 5-2 MPD: +5 (High: 3. Low: 13. LW: 9th)
Toronto escaped Week 4 with victories against both the Chengdu Hunters and the Hangzhou Spark. Having finished the stage 5-2, the Defiant could enter stage playoffs ranked just below the undefeated New York Excelsior and Vancouver Titans. The incredible play from team captain Kang-jae “envy” Lee has helped carry Toronto to several map victories in Stage 1. His leadership and skill will be integral if the Defiant wish to reign supreme over Stage 1.
– Dave Grove
7. Guangzhou Charge – Record: 3-3 MPD: +3 (High: 6. Low: 13. LW: 7th)
Guangzhou are much closer to the middle of the pack than they were before due to a strong showing by the LA Gladiators, and their stage playoff chances seem a lot less likely now. They may still be a solid team, but when they try to play at the level of the other teams they face is when they are weakest. Luckily, the Vancouver Titans showed some weakness of their own against the Chengdu Hunters, and it would be a ripe and unlikely story of revenge if the Charge win their rematch against the Titans as their final match of the stage.
– Ethan Seftor
8. Dallas Fuel – Record: 4-2 MPD: +1 (High: 5. Low: 14. LW: 12th)
Dallas’ coaching staff can prepare for any team. The Boy’s in Blue played and beat Shanghai at their own game for a quick 4-0. Richard “rCk” Kanerva played Sombra and had amazing synergy with Minseok “OGE” Son. Dylan “aKm” Bignet and Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson are consistent as always for this roster. A win for Dallas could guarantee a Stage 1 Playoff spot, so the staff will be working overtime to prepare for their most important match this stage. Dallas are doing their homework and Boston might burn.
– Ethan Cowan-Kazmi
9. Los Angeles Gladiators – Record: 3-4 MPD: +1 (High: 3. Low: 15. LW: 16th)
The Los Angeles Gladiators attempted to turn their season around with two games in Week 4. They won both handily, defeating Atlanta 4-0 and Guangzhou 3-1. While it was not quite enough to propel them into the playoffs, they showed great promise. Their 3-3 comp started to look much better, and players such as Benjamin “BigGoose” looking more comfortable with the lineup. If the Gladiators are able to keep this form the rest of the season, they will be one of the most dangerous teams in the Overwatch League.
– Zach Stenzel
10. Boston Uprising – Record: 3-3 MPD: +2 (High: 6. Low: 17. LW: 14th)
With a 4-0 under their belts, the Uprising are in sight of a possible Stage 1 Playoff position. If they can hold their own against the Dallas Fuel, who have proven to be worthy opponents, the Uprising could beat the odds and contend with the best of them.
– Mallory McMahon
11. Hangzhou Spark – Record: 3-4 MPD: -4 (High: 7. Low: 17. LW: 10th)
The Spark had a lackluster ending to Stage 1, losing to the Toronto Defiant and finishing out the stage with a 3-4 record. The individual talent is definitely there, and the team’s shown that when they can lock down the communication, they can pull off some impressive plays. However, their inconsistency and apparent discomfort with the meta both proved huge obstacles. Though Stage 2 could very well see shifts in the meta, Hangzhou could keep running into problems if they struggle to adapt. Figuring out a way to improve their flexibility and make the best use of the pieces they have will be the key to a better record in Stage 2.
12. Shanghai Dragons – Record: 3-4 MPD: -4 (High: 7. Low: 16. LW: 13th)
Shanghai’s rematch against Dallas certainly did not go as planned, but more credit should be given to the Fuel instead of discrediting the Dragons. Shanghai’s match against London was absolutely thrilling, as the Dragons took advantage of a weak GOATs team with Jin-hyuk “DDing” Yang back on Sombra. Shanghai even showed that they can hang with the best in a DPS situation, as their Pharmercy and Widowmaker combination ran toe-to-toe with the inaugural season champions. A GOATs meta isn’t even Shanghai’s final form.
T13. Seoul Dynasty – Record: 3-3 MPD: +2 (High: 8. Low: 16. LW: 11th)
The Seoul Dynasty played a different variation of their team’s members this past week. Although winning against Washington, Seoul still lost a map. This is not Ideal going into the last week just outside playoff contention. Facing the Paris Eternal, expect Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek and Minhyuk “Michelle” Choi to come back and control the tempo of fights to sneak their way into Stage 1 playoffs.
T13. London Spitfire – Record 3-3 MPD: -1 (High: 3. Low: 17. LW: 8th)
London had a close match against the Dragons last week, but ultimately couldn’t pull off the win. When the Spitfire do well, they do it exceedingly so, as seen on their Anubis defense against Shanghai. But maps like King’s Row and Route 66 last week highlight London’s inconsistency, just as in past stages. While they have one of the highest performance ceilings in the league, last week proved that they still have a ways to go to before they can put up reliable results.
15. Chengdu Hunters – Record: 2-4 MPD: -9 (High: 8. Low: 16. LW: 15th)
The Chengdu Hunters’ unusual strategies continue to catch their opponents off-guard. Despite these unusual team comps putting the Hunters at a disadvantage in many scenarios, they somehow manage to make it work. They’ve been able to get the best of some of the toughest teams in the league for a couple maps. Unfortunately, their shock factor can’t quite take them as far as they’d like to. Perhaps by learning and mastering a standard 3-3 comp they can fall back on, the Chengdu Hunters could gain the edge they need and begin climbing the ranks next stage.
– Chris Littlefield
16. Paris Eternal – Record: 2-3 MPD: -7 (High: 6. Low: 17. LW: 5th)
The Paris Eternal from the first two weeks seems to have disappeared, or been figured out. They’ve now dropped three straight, with two being clean sweeps. They needed a bounce back effort against the Titans, but it seemed that with every move the Titans were a step ahead. Their next match was against a rejuvenated Shock team that walloped the Eternal 3-1. With those three loses, Paris has fallen down in the standings, and only stands above the Mayhem and the two winless teams of the stage. They’ll need to get back on track for Stage 2 by defeating the Justice and putting up a good fight against the Fusion.
– Dalton Jewell
17. Houston Outlaws – Record: 3-3 MPD: -1 (High: 12. Low: 18. LW: 17th)
Houston improve to a .500 record with their victory over the LA Valiant. Despite a sloppy game, it’s clear that Houston improved their ability to play GOATS, while Dante “Danteh” Cruz continues to show that he is the rock that the Outlaws can build their success upon. Houston faces a tough match-up against the Atlanta Reign next week, however, it won’t be the first time this season they’ve beaten a team that looks better than them. In addition, if Houston manages to win the match, no matter what the map score is, they will reach the stage playoffs. If Houston play their next match with that in mind and continue to improve upon things like their communication and ultimate economy throughout the week, they could be a team to watch.
– Steven Zamora
18. Los Angeles Valiant – Record 0-7 MPD: -9 (High: 16. Low: 20. LW: 18th)
Despite being winless, the LA Valiant looked better this week. They were able to take Philly to map five and their series versus the Outlaws was especially close. As Stage 1 comes to a close for the Valiant, it’s important to remember that these are clearly not bad players. It just seems as though GOATS is very much not their meta of choice. The LA Valiant’s roster is made to dominate in the classic 2-2-2. Until the day comes when that is back in style, the Valiant will have to continue to try to improve their GOATS.
– Aaron Gerr
19. Florida Mayhem – Record: 1-5 MPD: -11 (High: 16. Low: 20. LW: 19th)
Week 4 only saw the Florida Mayhem on stage once, but it was a close match. Despite losing 4-0 to the Uprising, Florida was within a point on three of four maps. We saw more of Damon “Apply” Conti while Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey didn’t play once. It seems there is still some tinkering to do to find the perfect team cohesion with this team, but it’s good to see progress. The Mayhem will look to grab their second win of the season against the Justice this week, and avoid potentially being their first win.
– Dalton Jewell
20. Washington Justice – Record: 0-5 MPD: -11 (High: 18. Low: 20. LW: 20th)
Until the Justice prove themselves capable of a win, Washington will unfortunately remain at the bottom of most standings. Hopefully with the incoming games and stages, minds will be changed. However, until there is a meta change or improvement in communication, there is unlikely to be any difference.
– Rachael Yeak
Our voters for OWL Power Rankings: Preseason- Bradley Long, Kate Shepard, Felipe Labarca, Darby Joyce, Robert Hanes, Katie Gripne, Ethan Cowan-Kazmi, Mallory McMahon, Dalton Jewell, Zach Stenzel, Garrett “Norcetto” Golden, Ethan Seftor, Miranda Rodriguez, Dave Grove, Sam Putney, Aaron Gerr, Steven Bower, Rachael Yeak, Connor Knudsen, Jake Renie, Steven Zamora, Brandon Padilla, Eren “Kenobi” Erkey, Andy Nekrich